His dad may have laid the foundation of Ahrens Group, but young Stefan Ahrens took the construction and engineer business to a whole new level after he took over aged 27. "It's all about being the best in what you do, and daring to take risks" he explains. "People are tired of big builders with blow out budgets and timelines. By emphasizing the values of a family business we created a culture of excellence and trust, delivering our projects on time and on budget". It allowed Barossa based Ahrens Group to grow up to currently 300M turnover. Impressive story.
With an audience of forty local business leaders Stefan Ahrens featured another inspirational episode in the DutchSA leadership series. Adelaide increasingly recognises the DutchSA brand for its more intimate events with local business leaders, allowing participants to get close-up in person. A unique proposition that we are proud of. Stay tuned for the next event!
Nathan Casserly and Alex Ouwens have built Ouwens Casserly Real Estate into arguably Australia's fastest growing independent residential property firm since establishment in late 2011. During this time, OC have sold well over 2500 homes valued at over $1B, employ a team of over 90+ passionate property people and have accrued over 1300 rental properties.
OC's innovative approach to digital marketing, forward thinking business strategies and cultural structures has seen the business grow into one of the largest and most sought after independent real estate agencies in SA. Alex Ouwens is the current President of the Real Estate Institute of SA.
What a remarkable story by a remarkable young local entrepreneur. The DutchSA leadership series featured one of our own members: Alex Ouwens. Together with his business partner Nathan Casserly he started Harcourts Ouwens Casserly, and managed to grow their new business from 2 to 25 staff in just over one year.
Alex inspired his audience with his story of how focus, dedication and well implemented time management practice lead him to become a ‘corporate athlete'. Being able to shine a new light on an established and saturated industry such as Real Estate is a true achievement. But with their clearly defined corporate values (Authentic, Dynamic & Skilled, Optimistic, Passionate) that's just what they did. Just open the Real Estate magazine in the Saturday Advertiser and see who's properties stand out.
On 7 March 2012 DutchSA launched a new professional networking initiative: the Business Breakfast series. Special guest and featured speaker for this first edition was Bill Vis, the founder of the Adelaide based VIP-Home Services franchise ($110million turnover).
Bill shared the story behind his success, which is due to a number of qualities and regardless of the current economic climate: A keen sense for business opportunities; a willingness to try out new ways and to discard things that aren't working as well; an eagerness to keep listening to new ideas; having goals in your life to work towards and having a care for the people you work with.
Bill stressed that he firmly believes in a flat franchise organisation model, which allows him to coach and mentor his franchisees directly. And he explicitly opened the door for his fellow Dutch migrants to join his franchise. See our video summary.
A packed suite in the Hilton Hotel Adelaide eagerly engaged with Bill, who made sure to spend some personal time with all participants. A great start of what we hope will be a successful series of DutchSA business networking events. Stay tuned!
The third installment of our Professional/Business Networking events series on 18th Oct featured renowned South Australian business leader Rob Chapman as a guest speaker. Currently the Chairman of the Adelaide Crows, Rob Chapman has a long and impressive professional history, including CEO of Bank SA and St George bank.
Rob addressed an audience of over 30 business and public sector leaders and shared his view of effective leadership. His core messages echoed those of Bill Vis in our first event of this series: a leader must show to genuinely care for his employees and should communicate clearly where the organisation is heading towards. Effective leadership requires approachability and consistency in behaviour. Rob insists that in his view the distance between staff and management should be minimized, motivation should be measured, there should be tolerance for cynisism and any if possible leader should take part of new staff induction personally.
Throughout both Rob's presentation as well as Bram LaGrou's interview and the questions from the room, Rob's captivating presence ensured a very engaged and inspired audience.
Special thanks to our sponsors Lagrou Partners and Mackbel Films for making this event possible.
We organise Business and Social events to connect Dutchies and South Australia